This is Jer's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Jer's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Recent Activity
Hydrogen makes sense for middle-class (family income $100k+) commuters, home-owners (most important demographic to start industry) because it provides for: - large and heavy vehicles in $40k+ range with 400+ miles and wide range of utility, sedan or p-up configs - home refueling, provided by gas, wind, or sun Less important: - saving the earth - available on cars less than $20k - fueling infrastructure in-city in commute area - fueling price less than current gas Who knows? - easy for individuals or station franchises to set-up along I-states? - easy for homeowners to set -up co-generation system for home refueling
Ahh China. Is there anything China will not, in the coming decade or two and beyond, accomplish better than the rest of the World? A model society with responsive and productive citizens all contributing to a techno-Utopia, mostly NIMBYism free and activist-lite. When will people learn that almost all problems are technical problems that require directed cooperation rather than redundant and self-defeating, wealth-concentrating competition? I see: By 2030, China will have the highest quantity, proportion of vehicles, and miles driven per capita for zero-emission vehicles in the world. By 2050, top GDP per capita, lowest carbon emissions per capita, highest number of patents per capita in energy tech, and highest speed and transit spots per capita in the world. This is what technology, however they obtained it ;) will do for you. By then, a planned society with more choice, opportunity, and wealth than so-called free nations. Give me a gilded cage with a small accessible door over a rusty-and-run-down wild-west american ranch, at that time, any day. I just hope that future Chinese products won't be so perfectly engineered, cost-effective, and ubiquitous that all current G7 countries' tech economies won't dry up and blow away.
Very un-optimistic, even cynical, forecast. I see it like this: G7 countries currently make-up nearly 15% of world pop, by 2035 probably 10%. The US has more than 4 cars for every 5 people, the rest of the G7, a bit less. If we take the 2B cars on the road in 2035, it may be reasonable to say that 2 out of 3 people in G7 have cars, while 1 in 4 everywhere else at that future time. I personally think that 1/2 cars in G7 will be PHEV/BEV/FCEV and say 1/8 everywhere else - that's my super-optimistic guess… that works out to be over 20% of all cars being in that category - a lot smaller than I thought. Even if we go nuts pessimistic and cling to the idea that ICE fuels will be only twice the price as now and tech will otherwise stall and so: say that only 1/5 G7 cars are PHEV/BEV/FCEV and 1/20 elsewhere, that is still over 8% of the total expected 2B cars on road. Not sure on the original assumptions, but the developing world can't possibly support that type of ICE infrastructure - how many barrels of oil per day is that? at that time? 25% more than now?
Until there are home-fueling H2 stations, FCEVs will be minor-minor (likely unprofitable) players.
Uninspired. Though this is China, so who knows? Electrical vehicles are not going to make a serious impact (10% increase in total vehicle penetration in any period of five years) until sellers are willing to completely introduce a new paradigm into autos as Tesla has. You need to introduce an electrical vehicle lifestyle that completely uproots everything that gas cars have wrought upon us - that is noise, pollution, centralized overpriced stations as monopoly, expensive car repairs, dealership collusion and anti-competitiveness, etc. Electrical cars must be a clean sweep and Tesla has done everything right except push out a sub $50k car - but soon. But as NJ has shown us, traditional methods of buying, repairing and re-fueling need to be re-examined and overthrown. Many estimates on total cost of car ownership for an electrical vehicle have been put at 30-50% of gas car ownership for vehicles typically found in the $35k+ classes over the next 5 years - that is initial cost, all fueling, all repairs, and residual value subtracted - this is a huge risk for car companies with so much already invested in gas vehicles and its associated infrastructure. Fueling costs through Tesla like free-fueling stations and home-fueling with reduced repair costs based on the tremendously simpler drive system will compensate for 'higher' initial costs. The comparatively major unknown though is battery reliability, raw material availability, and long-term performance. With the costs of car usage plunging for the first time in decades, a true renaissance in personal travel should emerge toward 2020, but this thing that Volkswagen is doing is unlikely to contribute to that too much. Tesla needs to push China and now.
I am not sure what all the drama and sentimentality is all about. Get the oil out of that area and clean it up as soon as possible. So a small piece of nature is taken out of service for a few generations, so what? Improve the world's GDP, which enables technology, which solves GHG in a fully technological, highly efficient, pro-science, non-dirty-hippy-type way. All else is retreat into a world of reduced productivity, diminished wealth, lowered technological implementation across all sectors, severely increased energy costs, reduced standard of living for all first world nations, and absolutely minimal improvement for the health and well-being of developing ones. Consumerism and technological improvement is only fostered by cheap, abundant, and accessible energy. Its a crying shame and facilitating technology this way will get us past this 'dirty' century. It is a necessary evil. If the oil sands was not financially feasible, it wouldn't be there. If other solutions were available to empower manufacturing and services growth at these cost points, it would happen that way. We need a solid 2% GDP growth across all first world countries and 4+% GDP growth in all others for the foreseeable future to facilitate education, health, and well-being throughout. This is the way of peace, prosperity, and common purpose. It is crazy, ridiculous system, but for a world of likely close to 10B at mid-century that deserve to live in solid, sustainable communities at lower-middle-class Europeans levels, this type of economic growth stimulation is absolutely essential. There is not enough 'goodness' and discipline in people to do it the non-capitalist, communal and planned way as it should be. To think otherwise is to embrace the 13-year-old, simplistic, hyper-idealistic teenager world-view. Get it built. Get it done. Get it cleaned up and get it out!
Shame. Witness the birth of the new under-performing, under-contributing, under-productive transit- and personal-power- dependent class. I certainly don't want to be on the road with those who only rent a car a few times a year - you lose your safety street awareness and intuition very quickly. Small-group (not public) sharing plans are becoming more popular - where you know all users - often through work, extended family, special groups, etc.
I think that the conclusions drawn from the data are a bit simple and seem to have a 'leaning' to them. For example: reallocating resources away from car infrastructure (parking, residential parking capacity (zoning minimum parking), roadway repairs and upgrades, new arteries and optimized urban routes) to collective transportation systems is a blunt, big picture approach that we need to stop using. Saying that less people are using cars means we need to shift away from their support is like saying more people are becoming obese and eating poorly, we need to shift toward a pro-fast food culture. We need to shift towards people's 'productive' wants and needs, not their possibly desired or desperate short or long term behaviour trends. We need to be more sophisticated than that. Much (but not all) of the data suggests that cars are a very important part of people's weekly if not everyday lives and we need to accept a multi-modal investment. What the data never seems to suggest is the increased productivity, wealth-generation, and economic growth potential of car users, car infrastructure, and a lifestyle which includes cars. These studies always seem to neglect personal and society-level economics and prosperity in their research. The ideal case is for everyone to purchase, maintain, and park a car but reduce use for everyday, regular commuting, and single-occupant purposes. The bottom line is that a family (however you define that, 1-7+ persons) is almost always more productive, flexible, and versatile with a car that is owned and immediately available, which usually translates to increased worth, quality of life, and self-actualization. The economy directly benefits and therefore can increase outlays to less productive (but vital) elements - environment, health, and social well-being. There doesn't seem to be any evidence that a highly-focussed transit culture increases overall incomes, job opportunities, consumption, technology take-up, overnight social events, away-from-home vacationing, home ownership, or other elements that many economists identify with a growing economy. All urban (non-rural) centres should have local and commuter, widespread, high-speed, high capacity, 24-7 transit systems, but ironically that is often only facilitated by a large tax base and moderate to high income residents, which is primarily made-up of highly educated, mobile, and productive citizens - almost exclusively those who have (but may not always use) cars. Need more transit? Don't neglect car culture and the wealthy taxpayers who are a vital component of that group - funny how it works that way.
Interesting. With increasing capacity and decreasing cost many temporary, short-term, and emergency power systems may go whole battery - cost, availability, rare material substitute? What new power systems get replaced? EV cars get short-shrifted?
If charging per mile costs are significantly cheaper than gas - 50% or less, I think that you'll find some interesting market- and community changes... - electro-looting - plugging into a neighbour's or unauthorized work/public receptacle. - electro-marketing - letting neighbours/customers plug into your outlet for a price - often creating mini-markets in a neighbourhood - electro-parking - parking lots expressly made for EVs with special privileges - electro-benefits - maybe no dental or defined pension at your work but hey, full charge-ups on workdays/ new/used house sale or desperate landlord installs dedicated chargers as upgrade/feature - electro-VIP - malls, parks, public buildings use charger stalls as preferential close-up or sheltered parking as a service/ token 'green upgrade' - electro-regulation - HOV lanes nothing - you want PEV uptake? dedicated lanes, parking spots, charging areas, portion of all new buildings, anything lifestyle upgrade will push it... - electro-swarming - suddenly in 2030 we start to see a trend that number of cars on roads increase, total miles increase, miles per car increases, cars per family increase, electified-exurbias increase, worst congestion ever/ transit use decreases... pro-car urban design, pro-car inter-state upgrades, - if batteries give us 300miles and/or 600miles total on an extender for <$35k... careful what you wish for... (not that I have anything against a 70s/80s level of car use again)
Interesting to see if the intense lobbying for EV vehicle production, use, and infrastructure leads to a large, long-term increase in overall- and per-capita miles travelled - because hey, we still have the same number of congested roads and parking areas since during the good-ol ICE days.
Fabulous in theory. Still concerned about saturation and congestion. If you are 5th in line at dinner rush then you have added many hours to your trip in waiting. I haven't seen any information on the number of 'lines' available per station compared to the vehicle catchment area or rush traffic expected. Even a free charge that adds 3+ hours to your trip - because you are way back in line - will derail the system's take-up and success. Reservation system that updates? Charge congestion real-time tweeter/site/sign? VIP upgrade? 15min quickie lane? Can't wait to see 'logistics success or fail'.
I'm actually really shocked at the increase in reliable energy density in packs over the last 10 years. Beyond the graphic above, it would be interesting to chart the 'advanced product' lab and 'installed' battery densities over time since the early 2000s. I never would have guessed a Tesla type product out there or even this Solidenergy potential beyond proof-of-concept before 2020. Maybe 25% BEV penetration per family unit before 2020? Unbelievable. Though safety and environment-conditions success to be proven.
Climate change is a technological problem not a behavioral (or ethical) problem. There is no amount of behavior modification (energy use and GHG production and probably soon fresh water) that will allow all 7B people on this planet to live dignified American low-mid-class+ / European mid-class lifestyles, which they all deserve and which will save them, especially if temperatures and water level rise cause mass modification in lifestyle or infrastructure need over the next 50-100 years. Therefore, it is all about creating as much low cost energy to stoke the fires of innovation and productivity that will save us all that is essential. High energy costs are one of the greatest impediments to innovation and productivity. We are not technologically ready to take on climate change in a meaningful and sophisticated way, and provide the basic worldwide lifestyles that everyone deserves - basic economic stability before environmental luxuries always. Producing and delivering energy at the lowest cost must be continued in the short term including fossil fuels as available. This is not to say that reducing costs on solar, battery tech, and wind is not welcome - though, i would argue that it is the availability of wealth from the petro-industry that enables much of this clean energy to be developed - what? you think it was mostly happening in the labs of enviro-profs at leading universities and public research centres? All else is just feel-good greenwashing and short-term environmental sentimentalism.
And so it has been done... One of the 3 major obstacles to widespread interest (if not quite ownership) to EVs - cheap and easy quick-charging installed at home with a reliable big-provider. Industry take note and your chosen market share shall soon follow.
I have always found the durability of cars fascinating. Could it be that people driving less per day or less per trip or less days per week is allowing cars to stay in service longer? The greater desire to maintain and re-sell? The longer period of warranty service plans offered with purchase? Fewer small trips with their accompanying starts? Higher highway miles to local miles ratio? More durable parts or assemblies? The increased use of computerized sensors and diagnostics to diagnose earlier or better? In housing, a lot of academic work has been done on the best way 'green' the stock (i.e. comparing buying a new energy-efficient house vs upgrade/restore - with all the gradations and assumptions with that). Haven't seen as much data with cars - better to push for quicker replacement cycles by making significant efficiency/quality improvements? How much in annual repairs or deteriorating fuel efficiency necessitates a new car? Many would do simple calculations on a car's 'return'. More vehicle longevity/ durability/ life-cycle analysis papers, pls.
What we need are the development of more 'off the shelf' reactors. Smaller and easily transportable by truck or train, these 100-400MW reactors are far cheaper to construct/ manufacture and maintain. Though they usually require more crew per MW compared to the 1+GW monsters in the US, they can be maintained with more standardized parts. Westinghouse is apparently researching them. It would be good for other nations such as in the eastern EU to develop the technology to perfect quicker-to-activate nuclear energy systems.
If I can't fuel up at home - LNG, Hydrogen, or 40A electrical, I'm not saving the earth with my car. What is the legal status of installing a hydrogen tank/ dispenser/ reformer in your garage? Permit? Special contractor? $10k in labour and materials? Even a dedicated station within the basement parking garage of a condo or office bldg is not too bad. Purpose: destroy traditional gas stations - utterly and completely.
Unfortunately, the big factor that many of these pro-transit, pro-energy-reduction, pro-savings, and often anti-sprawl/anti-car (or at least reduction) articles seem to miss is that they do not indicate whether they actually lead to the fundamental ingredients for a better society - that is highly-productive, highly-valuable, choice-positive working people and businesses. Where are the indicators of increased growth, increased consumption, increased technology, increased employment, increased opportunity, and higher levels of productivity? It is easy to say that so many $billions are lost in commutes on clogged roads - but are they? Most highly productive individual drivers often are hands-free dealing and optimizing their meeting locations when they plan their driving - often missing the worst road parts as they modify commuting hours - highly flexible and highly adaptable. It seems that the only people truly 'wasting' their time are cyclists and transit users unable to talk or work while in transit. Of course, a well-balanced society allows the widespread freedom to choose any option and hopefully each user balances their uses and optimizes their time commuting. When did 'do less, save more, and spend less' ever lead to a society or even community that was worth living in - short of a retirement community, i guess. Does anyone not wonder why these decades and even generations of energy-reduction and sustainability preaching has come to little success? Because retreating is not how you succeed in your goals or ensure fulfillment, ever. So, can we have plans that promote growth and success not reduce and conserve.
I really like this. As long as the 'free' for life charging is kept at stations (and they increase beyond 2015 predictions for locations), 110&220V 'anywhere' charging is supported, and homeowners can have their own 3 hours or less superchargers at home, this is an excellent anti-gas station option. Further, through licensing, every oil change and tune up place could probably test and install these so it would be almost as widespread as gas stations eventually. As long as the price per mile is still less than 50% of gas prices of today including power, labour, and battery - all good. Hooray for Tesla bringing the convenience not environmentalism that people actually 'want' in an EV - affordability?, though - > hmmm. Maybe dramatic sales increase at drop to $70k on crossover model in 3 years? Question is, can any other manufacturer compete with this in the next 5-7 years?
Semi-benevolent tyranny does have its privileges.
An excellent business strategy to get the market opening up - even if it is the top of the mainstream market, but still not convinced at the workability of the convenience. A 20-minute free near-full-charge is great but the reality is that if it becomes popular and you are 4th in line for a charge - unless they keep dozens of spots open - you could still be waiting an hour or more. Will they have attendants to make sure that the line keeps moving? Shame the swappable battery didn't get taken more seriously.
Unfortunately, the 'always' weak link is 'Smarter Residents'. Never happen. You have to hide these benefits under the guise of 'technology' as easier and cheaper - provide increased comfort, convenience, and cred. Never let them know its good for them or the country. People in general? - like spoiled or damaged 12-year-olds always.
@Davemart: "... tens of thousands of home units providing electricity in Japan..." Of course - per my original comment, above. My point is that the electricity is not completely provided by the fuel cell/co-generation home system. More an engineering issue than a cost issue. There is likely required support from the utility (or solar or wind, i suppose). See: Note this is a japanese household, where I would posit that electrical demand is less than EU/US. I am optimistic and believe the concept is sound though. Further, be aware that the 'quality' of hydrogen (likely) used within a car-board fuel cell is different than that generally used on home fuel cell systems.
@Davemart: nice. though, i am skeptical that hydrogen would be a cost-effective source to provide the equivalent of an 80 to 200 amp supply typical to a residential house-size electric system. Hydrogen back-up power (hospitals, labs, etc.) is ridiculous expensive, cumbersome, and prone to constant maintenance and inspection. Though, compelling co-generation graphic at: